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Resilience, Resistance, and Renewal in the Medieval and Early Modern World

Thursday, May 27, 2021 @ 9:00 AM - 3:30 PM
Zoom Meeting, Online + Google Map

Graduate Student conference organized by the UCLA Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA).

The global medieval and early modern world (broadly considered, ca. 900-1750) underwent myriad profound changes, from devastating famines, plagues, and wars to an increased entanglement of the continents, economic transformations, and technological and scientific developments. These changes were often accompanied by calls for the reshaping of the institutions and structures – political, religious, intellectual, etc. – which undergirded societies’ approach to these challenges, encompassing such responses as resistance, resilience, and renewal.

9:00 am Opening Remarks
CMRS Director Zrinka Stahuljak
MEMSA Officers Richard Ibarra, Stefanie Matabang, and Patrick Morgan
Session I: “Re-orienting the Sacred, Re-examining the Profane”
9:10 Blair Apgar (University of York) “Not my King: Authority and Resistance in the Vita Mathildis (Vat. Lat. 4922)”
9:30 Monica Mitri (USC) “‘Then he stabbed me with a spear’: The aggressive sacred image as interreligious polemical tool”
9:50 Mads Larsen (UCLA), “Witch-Craze as Discourse Medium for Adapting to Lutheranism”
10:10 Questions and Discussion | Moderators: Chase Caldwell-Smith & Jodie Miller
10:30 Break
Session II: “Transformation, Transmission and the Mediation of the Natural World”
10:40 Elijah Two Bears, (University of Mississippi) “Coral Kings and Saltwater Gentlemen: The Transecological Dynamics of Shakespeare’s Ocean”
11:00 Chase Caldwell-Smith (UCLA) “‘Dr. Orta knows better than all of us’: Investigating the utility of ‘Orientalism’ as a framework for interpreting Garcia da Orta’s Coloquios (1563)”
11:20 Mariam Sabri (UC Berkeley) “Telling Seasonal Time: Epistemic Modalities of Cosmic and Natural Knowledge in Early Mughal India (1556-1621)”
11:40 Questions and Discussion | Moderators: Misho Ishikawa & Rhonda Sharrah
12:00 pm Lunch Break
1:00 Keynote Lecture: Hussein Fancy (University of Michigan)
2:00 Break
Session III: “Building a Response to Trauma: Pandemic and the Urban Landscape”
2:10 Yoojung Chun (Cambridge) “For Whom the Bell Tolls: Decoding Early Modern Plague-bells”
2:30 Kelly Ryser (NYU) “Transforming Cairo’s Skyline: Monumental Architecture in the wake of the Black Death”
2:50 Brittany Forniotis (Duke) “Out of Sight, Out of Mind: Italian Lazzaretti and Collective Trauma in Fourteenth and Fifteenth-Century Italian Cities”
3:10 Questions and Discussion | Moderators: Robin Kello & Andrew Smith
3:30 Conclusion
Follow this link to register to attend the conference on Zoom.

Above image: Phoenix – Paris ca. 1420-1425 (MS M.1004 fol. 143v)


Thursday, May 27, 2021
9:00 AM - 3:30 PM


Zoom Meeting


Medieval and Early Modern Student Association (MEMSA)